Most people I know have no idea how I grew up.
That I was a little girl intent on earning her father’s love. That I spent hours wishing things were different. That I studied other little girls–the good ones–to try to figure out what they did that made their daddies love them.
And that I failed miserably at that task—even to the point of being disowned.
It seems shocking to most, that a father could do that.
That a young woman could bear that.
And even more so, that she didn’t then let it define the rest of her life.
I don’t know any other way than the path God gave me. But, I can tell you that as a child, it was painful to watch my other friends with their fathers and wonder why mine couldn’t just love me too.
As a young woman, I cried at weddings–not because of the couple–because there were daddies that were sad to leave their daughters.
And, I spent the vast majority of my life looking at myself in the mirror, and searching my heart to try to figure out what it was that made it so easy for him to hate me.
I’ll never know the answer to the questions I have about him.
But, my heart is no longer crushed over my father’s lost love.
Because along the difficult path—about 30 years in—after bad choices in men, my career, my friends, how I treated my family, and even how I viewed my finances—
I met someone.
Introduced to him by two women from work, I was mesmerized by this man they spoke so highly of. This man who thought like no other. This man who came to set women like me free.
They knew Jesus intimately, and I wanted the same.
As I began to grow in my faith, and understand that I had a heavenly Father who loved me regardless of how my earthly father felt about me, I have to say it sent shockwaves through me. I’d never understood God in that way. In fact, the God I’d heard about was a whole lot like my father: he doled out love when I was good, and ripped it away when I wasn’t.
Today, I’m beyond honored to be a part of Suzie Eller’s Live Free series as a featured story. Her newest book, The Mended Heart, is full of amazing stories of women who have looked beyond their pain toward the One who can offer them not only healing, but a restored life. I hope you’ll stop by to find more of my story, as well as other women who have walked difficult paths and come out on the other side:
Healed. Loved deeply. Cherished. Joyful.
And Living Free for the first time in their lives.
Healing can happen, sweet friends. And the love you think you’ll never find, is within your reach.
Want to connect with other single moms of faith? Stop by The Christian Single Mom on facebook!